The General and the Thief

Chapter Three

Hephaistion stirred into wakefulness.

He felt sick with dizziness. The room was dark and full of the wispy smoke vapors of sweet yet very heady smelling incense that came from two medium flat terracotta incense burners. Hephaistion wanted to push them away but when he lifted his arm it felt heavy and sluggish so he let it flop back down beside him. It took a few attempts for Hephaistion to sit up from the bed he had been laying on and found that someone had undressed him out of his riding clothes and into a off white robe, strange he didn't own such a garment. His attention then went onto the room, it was bare apart from the bed and the tables which the burners stood on and the only way out seemed to the door. He stood up but found that his legs wouldn't support him and he fell to the floor.

Down here the air was free of the incense and it allowed him a moment of clarity. He had been riding, Alexander had giving him a message to deliver then something had spooked his horse and he had been thrown. After that it was patchy there had been people, he didn't know how many, they swarm in and out of focus and he couldn't understand what they were saying because of the pounding in his head. Then he had the strangest of notions of seeing himself standing in his riding clothes staring back at him with wide terrified eyes then someone had come over to the bed, that's where the memories stopped. Hephaistion knew that he couldn't have seen himself standing with the unknown people, nobody could been in two places at once it must have been a trick of his eyes or a dream one that he must still in it. Hephaistion told himself to wake up but when he remained where he was, he used all of his strength to get back onto his feet he decided to try for the door.

Hepahistion got a lung of the incense smoke making him cough. The room began to take on a new light it become smaller, the walls began to close in Hephaistion stumbled over to what he thought was the door, but very soon he began to feel sleepy and the prospect of rest soon overcame his need to find out what was going on. Hephaistion fought it for as long as possible but it soon won and he collapsed to the floor in a heap. The loud pounding in his head returned and covered his ears in the hope of making it stop, thankfully it did.

"My, what are you doing out of bed."

He looked up and saw that there was two people stood beside him both identical. Hephaistion was finding hard to focus on them and when they came down to his level only one of the people remained, he had been seeing double.

"You have been very ill and need rest." Said the man

Hephaistion felt himself being lifted off the floor and carried the short distance to the bed. He had so many questions that need answering but he couldn't make his mouth work everything came out all garble and slurred.

He tried sitting up but a hand went to his shoulder pushing him backwards.

"Lay down and sleep, all will be well."

He felt a hand brush aside his hair from his face "All will be well." It repeated in a soothing voice over and over. It got inside his head "All will be well Altair."

Hephaistion wanted to asks who Altair was but he was out before the words formed.